Demand for Vietnamese labour goes up in Taiwanese market

Update: December, 12/2006 - 00:00

Demand for Vietnamese labour goes up in Taiwanese market


Job seekers register at a recruitment fair. — VNA/VNS Photo Huu Viet

HA NOI — Taiwan has called for a further 20,000 foreign labours to aid the territory in construction, infrastructure and manufacturing. The increase in quota is seen as a potential boom for Vietnamese labourers looking to fill the demand.

With the opening up of the labour market, the Taiwanese authorities have made efforts to offer broader incentives and provide more favourable working conditions for Vietnamese labourers working in Taiwan. Working contracts will be extended to six years, from the three years previously offered and the contractual procedures have been simplified.

At present, there are close to 80,000 Vietnamese workers in Taiwan which accounts for around 21 per cent of total foreign labour in the territory. Six-teen thousand work in factories, 2,000 are sailors and 60,000 are employed as domestic help.

However, there has been concern that a number of Vietnamese workers have been terminating their contracts and working illegally in other positions. Vietnamese labour companies keen to stop the trend have been demanding deposits from workers in order to discourage the practice.

In order to limit the number of workers quitting their jobs, Viet Nam has issued Regulation 141/CP which deals with overseas worker violations, according to Nguyen Ba Hai, director of the Vietnamese labour management board in Taiwan.

The Taiwanese have also adopted new policies to aid employees that have legitimate complaints against employers, a major reason behind the number of absconding foreign workers.

At present, the Taiwanese Labour Committee is encouraging Taiwan’s enterprises to recruit workers directly without the aid of middlemen and the often high fees that accompany them. However, most labour exporting firms in Viet Nam have thus far not been able to win direct contracts.

The Vietnamese labour management board in Taiwan estimates that Taiwan will remain a strong market for Vietnamese labour, especially within manufacturing and technology. With Taiwan seen as a high tech island, labour exporting companies should focus on providing higher skilled workers to the island. The board has suggested that Vietnamese labour exporting companies take it upon themselves to focus on vocational training before taking labourers abroad.

Jobs abroad

Viet Nam has sent nearly 74,000 workers abroad over the past 11 months or 97 per cent of its annual target, according to the Department for Managing Overseas Workers.

Malaysia, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan and Middle East countries were the largest markets for Vietnamese labourers. During the period, the RoK and Japan accounted for nearly 8,000 Vietnamese guest workers.

The Middle East countries, especially the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Libya, are considered a potential market for Vietnamese workers in the future as they have huge demands for labour in all sectors, ranging from household and construction workers to high-tech specialists.

However, Viet Nam still face various difficulties in sending workers to new highly remunerative markets such as Australia, Canada and Italy.

Over recent years, the export of labour has become an important source of revenue for Viet Nam, bringing in about US$1.5 billion annually as remittance from approximately 400,000 Vietnamese labourers working abroad. — VNS